Advanced Review: NCAA Football 13

13 is a special number this year. 13; the namesake of this year’s NCAA Football, but also 13 is the number of uniforms that have been digitized for the Oregon Ducks and their high flying offense! That’s right, with 13 different pre-set uniforms for the Ducks they lead their way into a ranked four position atop the preseason charts in NCAA 13. That’s not all that’s changed with this newest edition of the long-standing franchise. There have been various tweaks, pokes, and prods to this years graphics and animations, but it comes also with the addition of a new mode: Heisman Challenge.

This new Heisman Challenge mode lets you step into the shoes of ten different Heisman winners and play as them–on your favorite team–for a whole season to try and best their own candidacy for the Heisman trophy. Armed with a new reaction time feature–in Heisman Challenge and Road to Glory modes–you can set out on your conquest with a plethora of new throwing and catching animations as well as a slightly overhauled control scheme. Now, like never before, you can see your rise to become a College Football Legend impeded by new difficulty settings in Road to Glory.

This additions do not come without consequences. In making the game better and more realistic, now like never before, you actually must learn to play defense. It’s not all about the high powered offenses and scoring 100 points a game. You need to be aware of the offenses and make the receivers be distracted and run the wrong routes if you are to succeed in stopping your opponent with ruthless efficiency. This also makes running the offense harder and more crucial to have good decision-making skills. If you don’t set before you throw you have a large chance to throw it away or–even worse–an interception.

Graphically there isn’t much to differ from last years, or at least not enough to warrant a buy on graphics alone. There are some obvious lighting improvements, and of course there is the addition of new game day traditions from some schools that were snubbed last year. The rosters are still varied enough to have most of the key players on your team have the right stats and numbers from real life, of course EA would never admit to copying people, but they’re there. With a playoff being instated in 2014 this may be one of the last times you’ll get to see the BCS Bowls in their entirety in a video game. Last, but not least, the majority of your favorite features have returned such as the Mascot Mash Up, Online and Offline Dynasties, and Road to Glory. The only reason to really buy this game is the new Heisman Challenge mode, and of course the new rosters and team uniforms. I’ll leave the decision up to you if it’s worth the buy, but I rate this game a solid 3.9/5.

In NCAA 13, on both sides of the ball, you will be tested more than ever before as blitz’s rain down upon you and short, accurate, throws rules the day. Running the ball is essential and turnovers come at a high cost. In order to get the true experience of NCAA 13, and to fill the void of a summer without College Football, you can pick it up on store shelves on July 10th. Until then I’ll keep your seat warm and Win the Day.

Advertisements

Mass Effect 3 Endings: Old vs New

A few days ago, I published an article that revolved around an interview which revolved around the topic of the extended cut ending of Mass Effect 3. In this article, I expressed my hopes and my reservations for what the ending could be. Today, the new endings have been released. I will let you decide whether or not they are improvements to the story of the game. To put it into perspective for those who have not completed or played Mass Effect 3, here is a copy of the original endings.

Original Ending (All of them)

This ending was horrible in the eyes of most fans, as it left so many unanswered questions. What happens to the galaxy now? Where is Shepard’s crew? Was it a mistake to save the krogan? Was it a mistake to eliminate the reaper threat and left life go on? Bioware sought to answer these questions in the extended cut. Below is a list of four extended cut endings, each based upon Shepard’s final choice.

Extended Cut Endings

Personally, I am happy with the extended cut endings. In my previous article I said that the old endings only closed one of the many story arcs, however the new ending closes all of the ones that mattered. You see how the galaxy fairs, and how your crew fairs in 10 minutes of extra footage. Closure is far more easy to accept with these arcs close.

But perhaps you will not feel the same way. Take a look through these endings if you can’t get the DLC yourself and leave your opinion in the comment section

________________________________________

Synthesis Ending:


Synthesis is the perfect ending in terms of morality. I chose to go with this path when I originally played ME3, sacrificing Commander Shepard to allow for the integration of organic and synthetic DNA in all life. With such a noble purpose, I felt robbed to see that the only reward for my deed was rescuing earth and giving joker some shiny blue eyes and glowing skin.

I am much more satisfied with the new endings, especially the synthesis one. Along with adding some extra footage of the battle, we have Edi’s narration and a photo montage, telling players about the consequences of my choice around the galaxy. Now, seeing that Shepard’s sacrifice is the reason the galaxy is harmonious and booming, I feel far better about my choices.

The ending scene with the memorial plaque was what I had originally wanted, and thus this extended cut has done a perfect job in closing the series of Mass Effect for me on an emotional level. Along with this, EDI’s proclamation that Shepard gave her life was very touching. Now I know the fate of the galaxy, earth, the other species, and my team. This is what the original ending should have been.

Destruction Ending:

I never understood the appeal of the Destruction Ending. Shepard destroys all synthetic life, and advanced technology, and with that comes the fall of the Reapers. While that is the end goal, the consequences that accompany this decision make me wonder if it was worth trying.

Admiral Hackett’s narration gives a nice touch and twists the ending into one of a grittier nature, but over all, I still found this ending to be some what disappointing. The only cool thing about it is that Shepard survives. However, even so, I guess the Extended cut was an improvement on this already bleak ending.

Control Ending:

Sovereign, The Harbinger, and now, the Shepard.

That’s right. In the control ending, we see that Shepard’s death does not pronounce his end, but rather his rebirth as a Reaper. However, Shepard is not like the other reapers. He is not obsessed with the preservation of the cycle; instead, he cares about the preservation of intelligent life in the galaxy. His reaper name is most befitting of his role, as he makes vows to watch after mankind, and help them rebuild what the Reapers destroyed.

Infinite, Immortal and Eternal. These words, uttered in the synthesized voice of the Shepard pronounce hope, even when coupled with ominous music. The Reapers rebuild the mass relay, and help rebuild worlds. No longer do they reap life, but sow the seeds  of a future. Shepard’s sacrifice was not in vain: he was the one who became something greater to save the many. Now the galaxy has a future of rapid advancement ahead of themselves with the Reaper’s assistance and protection.

Refusal Ending:

I am not sure if this ending option was in the original Mass Effect 3. It is an interesting, albiet foolish/anti climactic ending. If you choose to be a stubborn Shepard, and not go with any of the options given to you by the crucible specter, then the cycle shall continue. The reapers destroy earth  , with shepard watching. However, there is hope yet, as Liara’s voice echoes over a lush landscape devoid of signs of advanced civilization. The camera goes underground, revealing a facility that holds a projection of Liara, similar to the prothean projections. Hope is what the projection promises…the galaxy’s deeds and actions were recorded and are waiting to be accessed by the next advanced civilization. Perhaps the Reapers couldn’t be stopped by Shepard, but there is always hope for the next cycle.

Conclusion

I would like to commend Bioware for taking the time to make the extended cut for the game; while people may think that the gaming company was obligated to do so, the company had no need to do this. The fact that they took the time to improve the endings shows that they put their fans ahead of profits. On behalf of The Nerd Nexus, I thank you Bioware. Even if some people will not be happy, they ought to appreciate the fact that you tried.

____________________________________

I hope that you enjoyed this article; feel free to leave comments of your thoughts below and remember to like the post, follow the blog and our twitter (@TheNerdNexus) for further updates.